Friday, February 06, 2009

Mary Schapiro Begins to Talk the Talk

As I say every time I write about this person, I was not thrilled by the appointment of Mary Schapiro to head the SEC, and I dearly wish she would step down and some real agent of change would step into the job. Still, I have to admit that Mary Schapiro is beginning to talk the talk.

She was quoted today as saying that the agency needs to act as if its "hair is on fire."
"I like to tell the staff we are going to act like our hair is on fire," SEC Chairman Mary Schapiro told reporters after an appearance at a conference.
She's reportedly has canned the do-nothing enforcement chief Linda Thomsen, and she has also tossed out a rule under her odious predecessor, Chris Cox, that hamstrung the already-comatose enforcement division.

But these are baby steps and rhetoric so far. We need to see action.

Securities lawyer Bill Singer put it well today in his blog today:
Assuming that you conclude, as I have, that nothing of substance has changed, then answer this one last chilling question: Do you see any proof that substantive, meaningful reforms are in the works?
Headline grabbing words and a few head-choppings won't do. The SEC needs a top-to-bottom housecleaning. It needs a fundamental change in culture.

© 2009 Gary Weiss. All rights reserved.

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